I am a scholar of U.S. and Latin American literature and culture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In particular, my first book and my current projects reflect a transnational approach to the cultural history of capitalism. They address a common broad question: how are our local and national identities shaped by and through popular economic and political narratives? My book, A Cultural History of Underdevelopment: Latin America in the U.S. Imagination (University of Virginia Press, 2016) explores how Americans have mapped the hemisphere from the mid-19th century to the end of the Cold War in terms of an economic geography in which the United States was a rich nation among poor ones. The most common term for this geography and condition of poverty has been “underdevelopment,” a term from the social sciences that has also drawn on cultural generalizations about the origins and the spaces of poverty. Since I arrived at Wayne State, I have also taught and writen about the history and culture of Detroit, especially in the ways its image circulates outside the city–as the Motor City, Motown, the Arsenal of Democracy, and the city of ruins. My new project, Keywords for the Age of Austerity, is an evolving online work of historical etymology and cultural criticism. I trace the history of economic concepts in the mass media, uncovering the history and common use of popular terms like “accountability,” “entrepreneur,” and “innovation.”

MemberErika Piola

Erika Piola has worked in the Print and Photograph Department at the Library Company of Philadelphia since 1997. She received her B.A. from Haverford College and her M.A. in History from the University of Pennsylvania. She is Co-Director of the Visual Culture Program and has served as a project director and curator for a number of Library Company initiatives, including Common Touch, Philadelphia on Stone, 18th-and 19th-Century Ephemera, and African Americana Graphics. She is editor and contributor to Philadelphia on Stone: Commercial Lithography in Philadelphia, 1828-1878 (Penn State University Press, 2012). Ms. Piola has also presented and published work on American visual culture, 19th-century ephemera, the antebellum Philadelphia print market, and the Library’s African American history and photography collections. Her research interests include Philadelphia lithography, the frame maker and print dealer James S. Earle, and stereographs portraying the New Woman.

MemberHéctor Berdecía-Hernández

Héctor Berdecía-Hernández received his education in architecture, history, architectural preservation, and materials conservation. He serves as the founding Director/Coordinator-General of the Escuela Taller de Conservación del Patrimonio Histórico de Puerto Rico of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (ICP by its acronym in Spanish). He also directs the Division for the Research, Study, and Analysis of Cultural Heritage at the Escuela Taller. Berdecía-Hernández has worked in several architectural conservation and restoration projects at Quinn Evans, the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT), and the Historic American Building Survey at the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the Office of the Architect of the Capitol as a Córdova-Fernós Fellow in Washington D.C. He also served as Editorial Assistant for Change Over Time, the international journal on conservation and the built environment, a semiannual award-winning journal published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. He has served on several professional, academic and non-profit organization boards. He is currently Communications Officer, Secretary, and Lead Editor of the Emerging Conservation Professionals Network (ECPN) Board of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC). As an emerging architectural conservator and educator, his research focuses on the conservation of historic buildings and sites, with an emphasis on materials and technologies of 19th & 20th Century built heritage, contemporary design in historical settings, and issues related to preservation policy and sustainable development.

MemberEric S. Hood

Dr. Eric S. Hood specialize in cultural theory and British Romanticism, particularly British epic poetry in the 18th and 19th century. He is a Founding Editor at the Digital Mitford and a Core Faculty Member in the Digital Humanities at Michigan State University, where he teaches first-year writing, web authoring, and courses in the Digital Humanities as well as in the Integrated Arts and Humanities.

MemberRichard J. Callahan, Jr.

Material histories of religion, emphasizing the work of people in and on the world, stemming from American history and culture through the networks of resource extraction to oceanic spaces and the dark of coal mines. Comparative studies of religion and globalization embedded in those networks, influencing and influenced by the relentless frames of capitalism and “civilization.”

MemberNga Bellis-Phan

Nga Bellis-Phan is a Legal Historian specialized in European Early modern Private law and Economic history (16th-19th century). After graduating from law school with a full scholarship from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she is now a funded PhD candidate at the Institute of Legal History – University Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas. She has been a visiting researcher to the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History (Frankfurt, Germany) in 2017 and a full-time teaching assistant in Legal History at University Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas (2014-2016) and University Paris-Nanterre (2017-2019), where she taught French Legal History, Roman Law, Ancient Greece and Rome’s institutions. Her doctoral project, The theoretical and practical Legal History of Pawnbroking, from the 16th century to the 1804 French Civil Code, looks into credit networks and material culture in different social classes of Early Modern France, but also more broadly on the progressive implementation of legal regulations in a growing State to ensure legal security for both creditors and debtors, and to protect the most precarious against fatalities of usury. Since 2015, Nga is also actively involved with MarineLives, a London-based historical research project on 17th century manuscripts of the English High Court of Admiralty using Digital Humanities tools. She presented with Colin Greenstreet some aspects of the project at the DH Benelux 2018 Conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands. In 2018, she became a trustee of Chronoscopic Education, which serves as the legal basis for MarineLives and its sister projects – Maphackathon, Sign of Literacy and others. Institutional profile / Page institutionnelle : Institut d’Histoire du Droit (UMR 7184) CV (French/en français, 2021): PDF HAL-SHS : Publications Contact: nga.bellis[at]   Academic interests French Legal History & Economic History (16th-19th century) – Securities for debts: pawnbroking & pawnbrokers, movable assets – Credit networks – Legal manuscripts: notarial, judicial and criminal archives Digital Humanities – Automated characters recognization for Early Modern manuscripts (Transkribus) – Network analysis (R, Gephi) – Historical mapping / GIS (QGIS, Palladio) – Relational databases (Base, MySQL, R) – Digital edition (Markdown, XML-TEI)